An Audio Guide to Poetry Recitation - 23. "The Road Not Taken"

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An Audio Guide to Poetry Recitation - 23. "The Road Not Taken"


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There is a metaphor we often use when talking about memorization. We say "to know something by heart". It means to know something so well that you bring it into the center of yourself. The best way of reciting a poem is to know it by heart. And here is a poem I have known by heart for decades. It's called the road not taken by Robert Frost.

The Road Not Taken
by Robert Frost
[Read by Dana Gioia]

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,   
And sorry I could not travel both   
And be one traveler, long I stood   
And looked down one as far as I could   
To where it bent in the undergrowth;           
 
Then took the other, as just as fair,   
And having perhaps the better claim,   
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;   
Though as for that the passing there   
Had worn them really about the same,           
 
And both that morning equally lay   
In leaves no step had trodden black.   
Oh, I kept the first for another day!   
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,   
I doubted if I should ever come back.           
 
I shall be telling this with a sigh   
Somewhere ages and ages hence:   
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—   
I took the one less traveled by,   
And that has made all the difference.           
 

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